Boys and Their Toys

Contemporary self-making often requires dramatic reinvention. Left: A shy midwesterner, Marion Michael Morrison, transformed himself into John Wayne, the most readily identifiable masculine icon of the decades following World War II. (Publicity photography) Bottom: And President George W. Bush, son and grandson of aristocratic New England bluebloods, who repped at Andover, graduated from Yale and … Continue reading Boys and Their Toys

Visualizing Deviance: The Promiscuous (Heterosexual World of Sport)

Before I was married, I truly lived the bachelor’s life. I’m no Wilt Chamberlain, but as I traveled around NBA cities, I was never at a loss for female companionship. . . . There were just some bachelors almost every woman in L.A. wanted to be with: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and Magic Johnson. I … Continue reading Visualizing Deviance: The Promiscuous (Heterosexual World of Sport)

“One Day I’m Going to be Really Successful”: The Social Class Politics of Videos Made for the “It Gets Better” Anti-Gay Bullying Project

“The individualism built into IGB [It Gets Better] and the lack of structural critique makes problematic social class narratives particularly likely. Social class is fundamental to IGB because one of the primary ways in the US for LGBT people to document how they have improved their lives is through extensive descriptions of personal and financial … Continue reading “One Day I’m Going to be Really Successful”: The Social Class Politics of Videos Made for the “It Gets Better” Anti-Gay Bullying Project

“the ties that bind are also those that rip people apart”

[SPOILERS.] [From the film August: Osage County, one of my favorite films.] [SPOILERS.] “Not even Jean, Bill and Barbara’s teenage daughter, is safe from her grandmother’s foul mouth. Moreover, as the young girl declares her preference for vegetarian food over the funeral dinner, saying that she refuses to ingest the butchered animal’s fear, the whole … Continue reading “the ties that bind are also those that rip people apart”

“Rebellion”?

“The hero’s rebellion is henceforth a predictable turn toward “meaningfulness” and away from “money,” the underlying premise being that the luxury of finding an individual “self” through denial and renunciation is always open to those wealthy enough to choose, and sly enough to present themselves sympathetically as a rebel.” Pp. 264-265 in Munt, Sally R. 2006. “A … Continue reading “Rebellion”?

Food, Sexuality, and Desire

  "I would argue, however, that more than a purely profit-maximizing, ideologically neutral, Madison Avenue mentality is at work in these ads. They must also be considered as gender ideology--that is, as specifically (consciously or unconsciously) servicing the cultural reproduction of gender difference and gender inequality, quite independent of (although at times coinciding with) marketing … Continue reading Food, Sexuality, and Desire

Teeth

Abstract: This essay argues that Mitchell Lichtenstein’s film Teeth (2007) is an exemplary appropriation of the femme castratrice, a sadistic and castrating female figure that subverts the patriarchal mythologies undergirding the gendered logics of both screen violence and cultural misogyny. The film chronicles Dawn’s post–sexual assault transformation from a passive defender of women’s purity to … Continue reading Teeth